Content marketing: 5 micro-targeting tips for 2016

By Steven Van Belleghem

The internet takes central position in most companies’ marketing strategy today, but in many ways, the more reliant on it we all are, the more suffocating it becomes. This means that advertisers now have to be a little more creative and work a lot smarter in order for their content to stand out from the crowd.

Search engines and social media get more competitive all the time, so before creating any online content it is important to consider exactly who your audience is and how you are going to reach them. Fortunately there are now some handy tools that allow you to create and publish your content in a smarter way and successfully micro-target the perfect audience:

1. Facebook Canvas

With 934million people using Facebook on their mobile every day, it was no surprise when the social media giants launched their mobile-only advertising tool. The next potential game-changer from Facebook will be Canvas – a handy tool that helps you to easily turn ‘long reads’ into visually engaging features. The early statistics are quite remarkable, with users spending an average of between 135 and 174 seconds on the ad, which means the platform is currently outperforming videos when it comes to keeping the attention of users.

2. Facebook Pixel

Multi-device tracking is still a major challenge for marketers, but with the Facebook Pixel it is now possible follow and understand your target audience when they switch between mobile and desktop. Unlike Google’s cookie system, the Facebook Pixel tracks users whatever device they are on as long as they are logged into their Facebook account. With the pixel you are able to measure, optimise and build audiences for your ad campaign, and even follow up with people that visited your site or maybe abandoned their basket during the checkout process.

3. On-demand Geofilters for Snapchat

Snapchat is something many marketers are still getting to grips with, but the platform recently rolled out its own custom on-demand Geofilters in the US, UK and Canada, which offer a smart way to ensure Snapchatters in a very specific area get to see your branded content in their stories. Interestingly, as yet Snapchat’s guidelines don’t restrict targeting competitors, so we could see Android start targeting the Apple conference, for example.

4. Google Posts

Always improving the user experience is part of the company culture at Google, and that has recently meant focusing on quality content over easy ads. The ads have already been removed from the right of the results page, and they are now experimenting with ways to promote paid content without being too intrusive for the user. The latest approach being trialled allows brands, celebrities or businesses to post cards that pop-up in search results, pointing to relevant blogposts, products to buy, or even music and videos, which could become a very useful tool for pull marketing.

5. GoPro Hero4  & Twitter Periscope

Live-streaming events is one of the major new trends in online marketing, but Facebook still restrict it to verified pages and personal profiles. Periscope, on the other hand, is free to use for everyone, including brands, celebs and events. By combining Periscope with a GoPro Hero4 you can create a platform to broadcast high quality live streams your target audience, with the ability to interact with them on Twitter. Using Twitter Curator also allows you to showcase a selection of tweets live at an event, which could have fascinating possibilities for live music or sports events in the near future.

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Read the April 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.

Prof. Steven Van Belleghem is author of When Digital Becomes Human. Follow him on twitter @StevenVBe, subscribe to his videos at  or visit


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